We had a great time at Which Craft? with the Abita crew and Crescent Crown. Donny tapped the cask of their special Belgian Golden Ale with a quick strike of the mallet and soon we were awash in the hazy nectar that imparted such flavors as banana, clove and even bubble gum. The carbonation was light, which made it extremely quaff-able.
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Belgian Yeasts that impart that banana/clove “thing,” but this one was moderately enjoyable. I discussed the brew with several fellow tasters who are a fan of Hefeweizens and they gave the brew great reviews. I always feel like a I am unable to give a Hefe a fair shake.
While there, my lovely wife and I – along with my partner in crime, Jim – sampled a Samuel Smith’s Organic Raspberry. While I’m no fan of overtly fruity beers (and this one did, indeed, pack a PUNCH of raspberry flavor), I found this one enjoyable. The photo above doesn’t do the ruby hue justice … it was a beautiful, deep ruby red. As far as flavor, you can’t get past the fresh, fruity tartness of the raspberry. I TRIED to find some malty notes, but the light carbonation (not at all syrupy or thick) let the fruit shine through. The wife LOVED this one.
We also had a sampling of Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout. This one sported a LOT of rich espresso and coffee bean, with a smoky, roasted cocoa on the finish. Once it warmed a bit, I noted a hint of grassy hops. I REALLY enjoyed this one!
Later that night, we stopped by the Piazza Bar and got introduced to “The Barney” by a few guys from Crescent Crown. A mixture of Andygator and Purple Haze, this one had us scratching our collective heads. I picked up on the Andygator, and my lovely wife recognized the Purple Haze right away. This one was a big hit.
Thanks again to Which Craft?, Abita and Crescent Crown!